Joker movie directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix sounds like an elaborate prank that the Joker would think up to plague Batman and Gotham City, but it is apparently very real, and so is the list of actors signing on to the project. Supposedly, Robert De Niro and Frances Conroy are already involved and now Variety reports GLOW star and WTF podcast host Marc Maron has been added as well:

According to sources, Maron would be portraying an agent on Robert De Niro’s talk show who plays a part in booking Phoenix’s character, and eventually causing him to go mad and become the Clown Prince of Crime.

The De Niro talk show angle makes it sound like Phillips and Phoenix are doing a modern riff on The King of Comedy (which De Niro starred in) with a superhero slant. The King of Comedy is one of my favorite Martin Scorsese movies, and it does make a certain amount of sense with the Joker character. (He’s the Clown King of Comedy instead of the Clown Prince of Crime this time.)

Variety’s report notes that Jared Leto’s version of Joker that appeared in Suicide Squad will still return in future DC Extended Universe movies, and that “Leto will star in his own standalone Joker movie.” Theoretically that may be true. But let’s say Joker doesn’t perform. Is Warner Bros. really going to make another solo Joker movie at that point? It seems unlikely.

Gallery – Actors Who’ve Appeared in Marvel and DC Movies: